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GIFTS COME EARLY FOR VETERANS,
OR IS IT JUST MORE POLITICS?

by Ken Mahal, NSC President
Originally published on May 13, 2004 - reprinted with permission

V. A. SECRETARY ANTHONI PRINCIPI was in town Friday May 7, 2004 dispersing imaginary billions for new Veterans hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and the likes that we have never seen happen (remember the hospital at Nellis was also for Vets). As I recall this gentleman, on January 17, 2003, by decree eliminated all benefits to Veterans applying for services who have assets of more than $80,000 and yearly income over $30,000. Not being aware he has lifted these restrictions, the question is who benefits from his $6.1 billion pie in the sky pipe dream? And worse yet our Senators Reid and Ensign and Congresspersons Gibbons, Berkley and Porter each seem happier than a fox in the hen house; with most likely no one protecting we Veterans from being out foxed again.
Is there even one Veteran who believes he or she will live long enough to see the day they will benefit from anything in the proposed $6.1 billion which will be double that even if it is built?
Knowing our elected Senators and Congresspersons want only the best for we Veterans, why not try something else while we wait for the big money to be approved? Wouldn’t it be fun to try as an experiment letting the private sector work as we have mentioned before? You know, a “Veteran’s Smart Card”, where you sign up and go to any caregiver that best serves your needs? There would be no government boondoggles and no 10 years wait for brick and mortar. Just remember the Boulder City Veterans Home, the VA Clinic, Clark County Jail, Justice Center and University of Nevada Medical Center, to name a few. Also experience tells us that the government medical service area is almost impossible to staff, because there is not the interest needed by those in private practice wanting to do the job full time at a V.A. facility.
THE TRIP TO DUSSELDORF GERMANY to visit our son’s family was a wonderful experience and a place where bureaucrats could learn a lot about cleanliness, walking paths, parks, traffic etc. Their neighborhood streets are only two lanes wide and they park on either side of the street. Can you imagine having to pick your way down the street 8 or 10 car lengths ahead allowing others the courtesy of waiting for them to use your lane to keep traffic moving. You need to see it to believe it. Land is so scarce they use stacking elevator car parking buildings in all glass mid rise towers to sell their little Metro cars and a great visual marketing device. It was nice to see the little neighborhood store as well as their version of a Wal-Mart store.
HANDICAPPED AIRPORT SERVICE FROM HERE TO CHICAGO TO DUSSELDORF GERMANY TO MALLORCA SPAIN and back was the worst at our own McCarran Airport. On leaving Las Vegas for Chicago there were so many people waiting for wheelchair service at McCarran it took most of two hours to make it to the boarding gate. On our return to McCarran Agnes and I were only able to get one person to help with two wheelchairs; plus he had to handle three (3) full size bags and get us to the taxi. On top of that the baggage area is a mess while they expand the mezzanine floor above it for more security lines. Instead of Manager Randy Walker bailing out the Clark County Commissioners on their failure in handling the Justice Center and the Clark County Jail which are two years late and millions over budget he should be full time on the job as he is hired to do.
We spent a week in Mallorca (sounds like Myorka) (this is the Spanish spelling; in English it is Majorca – Ed.) Spain which is a very large beautiful old historic island that is bustling with growth almost like Clark County. The difference being that they are working at managing their growth in an orderly fashion rather than the chaotic unhealthy mess we have here. We enjoyed golfing there and staying at the Marriott, a really first class service and oh so beautiful. It was really nice to see our son, daughter in law and two grand-children but it was also nice to make it home. At my age of 83 on the day we left and both having to both use wheelchairs it was doubly nice to be home.
Upon arriving home there is no doubt I was effected almost as soon as I got back with the dust and dirty diesel pollution laden air in our valley. I had to take both antibiotics and anti allergy medication for about ten days. So welcome to Las Vegas. What’s new?
IS THERE PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL/FOOTBALL IN OUR FUTURE? I really doubt it, having moved here from the Minneapolis area in 1984 and going through the whole baseball and football thing in both cities and with the Twin Cities being considerable larger than the Las Vegas area as well as having even many more visitors to the Mall of America than our gaming visitor numbers and neither sports have done that well in the Twin Cities I really doubt if we can attract the sports minded spectators needed to make it pay in Las Vegas.
THE MAYOR IS DEFENDING HIMSELF on the ethics charge. That is the reason he didn’t make our May 13th meeting. I am sure he will want to come by on a later date and tell us how he won the day.

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